A financial manager at a Miami Shores, Florida dealership has been arrested on suspicion of identity theft after a woman said she appeared as a co-signer on a 2016 Porsche Macan without permission, police said.
Tropical Chevrolet chief financial officer Sofia Pinedo, 31, said buyer Bryce Crawford and his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Umanzor, were present at the dealership for the signing, according to Miami Shores police. Police said the Macan had a “financial amount” of $53,051.15.
“[Pinedo] informed that the victim was present and signed the documents in front of her,” a Miami Shores investigator wrote in a police report.
But Umanzor said she had never visited Tropical Chevrolet, and her employer said she was at work on Sept. 30, 2021, the date of the transaction in question, police said. Crawford agreed that Umanzor was not present for the deal and said the dealer had planned to mail the documents to him, according to police.
The handwriting on the Porsche transaction also did not match Umanzor’s signature on the notarized documents, police said.
Pinedo’s attorney, Michael Gottlieb, of Michael A. Gottlieb PA, said his client got the deal wrong when she spoke to police. Pinedo did not recall the circumstances of the signing, according to Gottlieb. He noted that this happened at the end of the month, a day when she had processed six transactions and supervised at least six others.
“My client is innocent,” Gottlieb said. “There was never any intention on his part to defraud anyone.” He said she didn’t sign Umanzor’s name.
Tropical Chevrolet had a copy of Umanzor’s driver’s license and personal information, but Umanzor provided evidence that Crawford had a copy, police said. The two men lived together and had two children together, and Umanzor had previously provided him with personal information, police said.
“We recently learned that a forged ID was allegedly used when purchasing a vehicle several months ago from our dealership. We are cooperating fully with authorities and conducting our own investigation,” said Tropical Chevrolet general manager Daniel Sanguily in a statement. “In the meantime, the employee who was identified as having financed the transaction has been placed on leave while the investigation continues. We pride ourselves on providing excellent vehicles and have literally placed tens of thousands of people in cars and this is the This is the first time we have learned of such an alleged incident. We take it very seriously and are responding accordingly, but we cannot comment further as it may jeopardize the investigation. .
According to an investigator, Crawford was adamant that Umanzor had agreed to co-sign the loan, while she was adamant that she had not. Police said they couldn’t make a decision anyway.
Police have not accused Crawford of involvement in the case, according to the police report. He declined to comment.
Umanzor referred a request to his attorney at Wilbur Smith LLC. A representative for the firm said attorneys are still reviewing the case and have no comment at this time.
The status of the Macan and the loan is unclear. Lender Ally Financial and Sanguily declined to comment. Gottlieb said he understands Crawford is making payments on the vehicle and the loan is in good standing.